Apple today announced that iPhone OS 2.1 will make its public debut on Friday. CEO Steve Jobs promises that the update will squash many of the more irritating bugs afflicting the current 2.0.2 release, including dropped calls, slow backups in iTunes, poor battery life and repeated application crashes. In fact, Jobs delivered more detail regarding the actual fixes contained in the forthcoming update than release notes for any prior updates (which generally state only "bug fixes") have.
The 2.1 update will be free for all iPhone owners and iPod touch users currently running OS 2.0.x. It will cost $9.95 for iPod touch owners running OS 1.x.
It remains to be seen whether or not the update will deliver on Jobs' promise and what steps Apple has taken to enact the fixes. Combining better performance and better battery life in an update is quite a feat -- some previous iPhone OS updates boosted the device's processor speed at the slight expense of battery life.